Free Your Phone

Corey corey at
Sun Jan 21 01:33:48 CET 2007

On Saturday 20 January 2007 16:13, Richard Franks wrote:
> PS. Are there people who actually say GNU/Linux in conversation and/or
> correct themselves if they forget the GNU part?

I'm sure different people have varying degrees of concern over this; however,
ask yourself this: if you were to mention in a conversation, or heard someone
else mention in a conversation, that the linux kernel was "shareware" - would
you actually make the correction? After all, linux is not "shareware', but rather 
"Free Software", or "Open source Software".

Here's another one: have you ever found yourself verbally clarifying and/or
correcting the distinction between ye olde "Free as in Beer" and "Free as in
Freedom" concepts while conversing with someone, regarding free software?

Here's another one: same basic premise - you're in a conversation - have you
or have you not ever felt it was necessary to correct yourself, or someone else,
from referring to "Linux" as an operating system vs. the fact that linux is a 

Hey there's more! Have you ever heard a coworker or acquaintence incorrectly
pronounce the name of some software project or another? Have you ever actually 
attempted to correct  the mistake, maybe every so often?

I don't see anything particularly outlandish or zealously pedantic about applying
the same casual or earnest sense of accuracy to qualifying a generic "linux based
system" or what have you as "GNU/Linux".

However, fact is, language has a life of its own - and it looks like the term "Linux"
will possibly have dual-meaning ( i.e., linux the kernel, and linux the generic term
for any os using the the linux kernel along with any amount of gnu software ) for
a long time to come.

I think probably the only way to change the situation would be for those who care
about this particular issue the most, to go out and make, or wait and hope for, an 
os/distro that uses the linux kernel coupled with the BSD userland, so that a clear
distinction of "GNU/Linux"  (vs. "BSD/Linux") could finally be something with a 
100% non-idealogical practicallity.

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